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Pennsylvania postal worker goes public with allegations in Project Veritas report: postmaster ordered backdating of ballots

RT | November 6, 2020

A US Postal Service employee has gone public to Project Veritas with allegations that the Erie, Pennsylvania, postmaster ordered mail-in ballots that came in after Election Day to be backdated to Nov. 3 to make them appear legal.

The alleged whistleblower, Richard Hopkins, said he overheard Postmaster Robert Weisenbach Jr. speaking to another employee Thursday about ballots that were supposed to be backdated. According to Hopkins, Weisenbach said most of the ballots that arrived on Wednesday, the day after the election, had been backdated to Tuesday, but one ballot had been mistakenly stamped with the accurate date, Nov. 4.

US law requires that mail-in ballots be postmarked by Election Day to be considered valid and counted. As of election night, President Donald Trump held substantial leads over Democrat rival Joe Biden in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. But those leads were wiped out as election officials counted troves of mail-in ballots in the ensuing three days, putting Biden on track to win the election if the vote counts held up in court. Trump has vowed to launch wide-ranging legal proceedings, alleging irregularities within the vote counting process, claiming that if only “legal votes” were counted, he would’ve sailed to victory.

Hopkins is the “anonymous whistleblower” from Project Veritas’ earlier video released on Thursday night. In the video, Hopkins alleged that the postmaster ordered late ballots to be backdated. Weisenbach denied the allegation, dismissing the claim as “untrue,” but hung up on Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, providing no further comment as to the reported incident.

Hopkins said postal inspectors contacted him Friday and said that he had been implicated as the anonymous tipster. He said the inspectors wanted to get his side of the story to start an investigation, so he told them about what he’d seen and heard.

The Erie story followed other Project Veritas reports this week alleging mishandling of ballots in two other key states. Just as in the Pennsylvania case, a US Postal Service “whistleblower” in Michigan on Wednesday claimed that an employee was ordered to separate late ballots from regular mail so they could be stamped by hand with Tuesday’s date. In Nevada, a postal worker appeared to have agreed to give a bundle of unused ballots that had been sent to incorrect addresses to an undercover reporter.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | | 1 Comment

Willem Engel interviews Ivor Cummins

Data Dumper

Willem Engel with Ivor Cummins, November 4, 2020

[Dutch opening ~18 seconds, English after that]

Ivor Cummins BE(Chem) CEng MIEI PMP completed a Biochemical Engineering degree in 1990. He has since spent over 25 years in corporate technical leadership and management positions. His career specialty has been leading large worldwide teams in complex problem-solving activity.

Since 2012 Ivor has been intensively researching the root causes of modern chronic disease. A particular focus has been on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. He shares his research insights at public speaking engagements around the world, revealing the key nutritional and lifestyle interventions which will deliver excellent health and personal productivity. He has presented on heart disease primary root causes at the British Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR). He has also debated Irish professors of medicine on stage, at the annual conference of the Irish National Institute of Preventative Cardiology (NIPC). Since March 2020, Ivor has dedicated his analytical and biochemical expertise to deep and revealing analysis of the Covid19 pandemic situation.

Ivor’s 2018 book “Eat Rich, Live Long” (co-authored with preventative medicine expert Jeffry Gerber MD, FAAFP), details the conclusions of their shared research:

His public lectures and interviews are available on YouTube, where he has more than 145,000 subscribers and more than 12.5 million views have been recorded to date:

Most of Ivor’s material is readily accessible via his rapidly growing website:

Ivor lives in Dublin, Ireland, with his wife and five children.


November 6, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

China condemns US for ‘whitewashing’ terrorist organizations after dropping Islamic extremist group’s designation

RT | November 6, 2020

Beijing has called on the US to reverse its decision to remove the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from its list of terrorist organizations, accusing Washington of ‘whitewashing’ militant groups.

Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that “China deplores and firmly opposes the US decision” to drop the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from its list of designated terrorist groups.

Demanding the US reverse its decision, he strongly affirmed that “terrorism is terrorism” and urged America to “refrain from ‘whitewashing’ terrorist organizations or going backwards in international cooperation on counter-terrorism.”

The change in policy was made in a US State Department notice by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, although the Trump administration did not immediately explain why they had delisted the group. The absence of an explanation led Wenbin to accuse the US of having “flip-flopped” on the designation and claiming it has exposed “the current US administration’s double standard on counter-terrorism.”

Removing ETIM from the list means that the group will no longer be subject to any US sanctions that were imposed, removing any limits on financial transactions or travel restrictions that had previously applied.

Beijing has been accused of detaining up to one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps in Xinjiang, which China terms “vocational training centers.”

The ETIM is an Islamic extremist group founded by Uyghurs in Western China who seek to create an independent Islamic state in Xinjiang, called East Turkestan. The group has been affiliated with Al-Qaeda and it has been listed as terrorist by the UN Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee since 2002.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

How to Scare and Deceive without Lying: JPL Cries Wolf about Polar Glacial Melt

By E. Calvin Beisner | Watts Up With That? | November 6, 2020

Yesterday NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory published “The Anatomy of Glacial Ice Loss.” For the most part it’s an interesting, though not particularly revolutionary, discussion of the various forces that add to and subtract from glacial ice. Nothing wrong with that.

But its authors took the opportunity to insert a poison pill, a little bit of fearmongering, in a video caption:

Did you catch that little trick? “Combined, the two regions also contain enough ice, that if it were to melt all at once, would raise sea levels by nearly 215 feet ….”

Well, yes, but at what rate is the ice from the two regions melting, and at what rate can we, with any confidence, predict they’ll continue to melt, and over what period of time?

There is absolutely no chance of their melting “all at once”—barring, I suppose, Earth’s collision with some enormous asteroid that sends Earth careening into the Sun!

So, how fast is the ice melting?

For Greenland, about 0.1% of its ice mass per decade—1 percent per century.

For Antarctica, about 0.0045% per decade—1% in 2,200 years.

Combined, those contribute to sea-level rise of about 1 mm per year, i.e., 3.94 inches per century.

(See “Lying with Statistics: The National Climate Assessment Falsely Hypes Ice Loss in Greenland and Antarctica.”)

So, if the actual rate is about 3.94 inches (0.3283 foot) per century, how long would it take to raise sea level by 215 feet? The answer: 215 ft. / 0.3283 ft. per century = 654.889 centuries, or 65,488.9 years.

To be fair, glacial melt from Greenland and Antarctica isn’t the only contributor to sea-level rise. Thermal expansion and other factors also contribute, and some estimates put annual sea-level rise at around 11.81 inches per century, or about 3 times the rate I posited above.

So, let’s redo the calculations. How long, at that rate, would it take to raise sea level by 215 feet? A mere 21,829 years.

Now tell me, if JPL had made that clear, would anyone have taken seriously its saying that this makes “the study and understanding of [the melt in the two glacial regions] … crucial to our near-term adaptability,” or even to “our long term survival”?

No doubt the study is interesting. But it’s certainly not “crucial to our near-term adaptability” or “our long-term survival.”

Is there any reason to think humanity couldn’t survive a 215-foot rise in sea level spread over 21,,829 years, let alone 65,000? And if we define “near-term” as, say, 100 years, or 500, is there any reason to think our “adaptability” would be seriously threatened by 11.81 inches of sea-level rise in a century, let alone 3.94 inches? Or by 4.92 feet in five centuries, let alone 1.64 feet?

And for that matter, what reason have we to think this rate of glacial melt will continue that long into the future? We’re in the midst of a pleasant interglacial period now, but in terms of ice-age cycles, we’re due for the onset of another before long (perhaps in the next few centuries to a millennium?).

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder, President, and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

US Election Triggers Fears of ‘Slow Motion Coup D’Etat’ & ‘Daylight Robbery of Votes’, Observers Say

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 06.11.2020

Repeated delays in vote counting and reported irregularities have cast a cloud over the integrity of the US election process, say American observers, discussing the alleged voter fraud and President Donald Trump’s chances of settling the matter in the Supreme Court.

The winner is still undecided in the US presidential elections, as some states have yet to announce their final results. This situation has triggered confusion, especially given that both candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, have already declared that they are on the path to victory.

It’s Electors Who Officially Determine the Winner

“Contrary to what many might assume, the American people do not directly choose the president and the determination of the winner of a presidential election is not when the media declares a winner or when the apparent loser concedes,” says American independent journalist and political analyst Max Parry. “In fact, Election Day itself is the voting for electors from each state, the governors of which draw up a list to the electoral college once all of the in-person, provisional and absentee ballots are counted.”

The electors then officially meet the following month in their respective state capitals to vote for the president, and then in January the election is certified by Congress, the journalist underscores.

It can’t be ruled out that that if Biden is declared the winner by his campaign and the media in the coming days “the state legislatures in undecided states could explore the legal ambiguity of the electoral college process and attempt to appoint pro-Trump electors anyway”, according to Parry.

“All of the contested states have legislatures in which both houses have GOP majorities, so theoretically they may try to overturn the vote they believe to be fraudulent and elect pro-Trump representatives to the Electoral College,” he suggests.

Nevertheless, the journalist doubts that “enough Republican lawmakers will be willing to override the popular vote, unless it is proven to be fraudulent”, because the situation may potentially spark a political chaos and a constitutional crisis.

‘A Slow Motion Coup D’Etat’

“I’ve been saying for weeks that if Trump was going to win, he would have to win big or else the result would be stolen from him”, notes Jim Jatras, retired US Diplomat and former GOP Senate foreign policy adviser.This follows the pattern of what Americans saw in 2018 in several California districts that were called for the Republicans on election night, according to the former diplomat: “Over the days and weeks that followed [the results] were shifted over to the Democrats as they ‘found’ new votes and mail-in ballots.”

Politico shed light on the issue, citing then House Speaker Paul Ryan who complained that the state’s voting system is “bizarre”: “We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race”. However, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla rejected Ryan’s concerns.

The counting of votes in the 2020 election does seem suspicious, according to Max Parry. Although it makes sense that the majority of absentee ballots would be overwhelmingly blue since Trump urged his followers to vote in person, “this does not account for the widespread irregularities or the excessive duration of time it has taken where several days after Election Day, several states have still yet to be called.”

The journalist believes that “a disputed result is being manufactured in order to trigger a crisis where Trump can be removed from office,” calling the unfolding situation “a slow motion coup d’etat” which was “engineered” in advance.

“Let’s be honest”, says Jatras. “Heavily corrupt cities, too, simply find as many ballots as they would need to flip over some of the marginal states like Wisconsin and Michigan, which looked like they have already occurred, and possibly now Pennsylvania. So I think we are seeing really what amounts to the daylight robbery of an election that Donald Trump, in fact, really won, but will be shifted over to Biden. And unless some really, really sharp lawyers can find some way to counter this, I think it’s likely to be successful.”

Alleged Mail-in Fraud & Non-Citizens’ Voting

Trump was not incorrect when he claimed that mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud, according to Max Parry.

“In fact, according to some academic studies more than 20% of all mail-in ballots are discounted for one reason or another,” he says. “In the 2016 election, thousands of mail-in ballots were discounted because of postage due, while over 3 million were rejected in total.”

While the Democratic Party and the mainstream media deny the assumption that mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud, a US conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, issued a legal memo in July 2020 warning that “absentee or mail-in voting leaves America’s electoral system vulnerable to fraud, forgery, coercion, and voter intimidation”. On the other hand, the think tank pointed out that “uncovering instances of voter fraud is difficult” allowing those committing fraud to “get away without repercussions”.

In addition to this, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch earlier raised the red flag over the potential illegal voting by non-citizens in the 2016 election. According to JW, a total of 43 million non-citizens are currently living within US borders; of these, approximately 12 million are illegal aliens.

JW is not the first who has drawn attention to the issue. In 2014 an opinion piece by Jesse Richman and David Earnest, fellows of Old Dominion University, was published in The Washington Post’s blog “Monkey Cage” suggesting that 6.4% of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2% of non-citizens voted in 2010. Their study, which has been heavily criticised since then, alleged that non-citizen migrants’ participation could affect “the outcome of close races”.

“As for illegal voting by non-citizens, there is a lack of convincing evidence to support the idea that it is widespread and the sources I trust say it is rare,” Parry says.

However, despite mounting criticism, Jesse Richman told Wired in January 2017 that he still stood by his findings, warning, however, against exaggerating the matter. One of Richman’s detractors, Rick Hasen, author of the Election Law Blog, also admitted that “noncitizen voting is a real, if relatively small, problem”, according to the magazine.

US Supreme Court May Settle the Dispute

Touching upon the unfolding legal battles unleashed by the Trump campaign in a number of battleground states, Max Parry notes that, obviously, the Bush v. Gore (2000) case gives Donald Trump the precedent to go to court to dispute the count.

It is quite plausible that the Trump campaign could move to settle the election in the US Supreme Court, but the key will be “providing sufficient burden of proof in wrongdoing”, according to him.

“A recount may be the Trump campaign’s best option, given the reports of irregularities in several states, some of which have automatic recounts if the margin between candidates is estimated thin enough in the final result or permit requests by candidates to do so if the result is within a margin small enough,” the journalist notes. “They will have to wait until the result is finalised and force a recount before state deadlines.”

Parry recollects that in 2000, the recount did expose several irregularities in Florida. However, in the Bush v Gore case it was the Supreme Court which intervened and rejected the recount”, the journalist notes, adding that it would be only the second time in US history for the court to decide the winner.

Meanwhile, the distrust prompted by delayed vote counting in American swing states is on the rise. On 5 November, Breitbart noted that three Democrat officials overseeing Pennsylvania elections – Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D), and Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) – earlier “expressed disdain” for President Trump on Twitter. The conservative media outlet suggests that this could have weighed on the election process in the state.

​At the same time, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled in favour of the Trump campaign on Thursday, allowing election observers to watch the mail-in ballot count in Philadelphia.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | | 1 Comment

Election glitch in Michigan county accidentally hands Democrat a win, flipping it to Republican once fixed

RT | November 6, 2020

Michigan’s Oakland County has discovered a computer glitch that erroneously gave a victory to a Democratic candidate for commissioner. Her rival is breathing a sigh of relief, and worrying about where else such errors lurk.

Democratic candidate for county commissioner Melanie Hartman appeared to have won the election on Wednesday by a razor-thin 104-vote margin, according to Detroit Free Press. However, red-faced county officials have revealed that a computer glitch led them to actually count votes for seven precincts twice, and the Republican incumbent Adam Kochenderfer was declared the winner on Friday.

When the votes were counted correctly, Kochenderfer came out ahead by a comfortable 1,127 votes, 51.67 percent of the total. While the relieved winner said he was “grateful to the officials who caught the error,” he expressed concern other mistakes might not be caught so quickly.

“We need to ensure that we catch these issues, or prevent them entirely,” he told local media. Kochenderfer had already accepted his defeat, though he was surprised to be (however briefly) ousted in a district long considered a Republican stronghold, and had not been planning to seek a recount.

The error was blamed on “a computer issue” at the city clerk’s office in Rochester Hills, in Oakland County’s 15th District. Absentee votes for the seven precincts were counted twice, as in-person and absentee, County Elections Director Joe Rozell explained.

Michigan is one of six states where President Donald Trump has challenged vote totals in an effort to uncover what he insists is widespread voter fraud. The state was called for Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Wednesday, apparently flipping ‘blue’ after Trump won it by a slight margin in a 2016 upset. It’s not clear from reports if the Oakland County computer error also affected presidential ballots; however, current figures give the Democrat a comfortable margin of victory.

The Trump campaign has also filed or joined lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona and demanded a recount in Wisconsin. Georgia’s secretary of state announced on Friday that a recount would be performed there. According to calculations from the Associated Press, Biden appears to be on track to win the presidency with 264 of the required 270 electoral votes, as just one victory in the states that have not yet been called would put him over the line.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 1 Comment

Iran ready to play leading role in Syria reconstruction/ Shalamcheh-Basra-Latakia railway; The most important economic joint project

Mideast Discourse | November 6, 2020

Steven Sahiounie, a Syrian-American journalist, believes that while Western and European sanctions prevent the import of replacement parts needed by Syria in infrastructure projects, the ability of Iranian industrial engineers to build what is needed could be a vital path around and behind Western sanctions.

Sahiounie tells the Bazaar in an exclusive interview that the prospects for continuing bilateral relations between Iran and Syria are good.

“They both share the same dedication to peaceful relations with countries in the Middle East region while holding firmly to the ideal of resistance to the occupation of Palestine, and demanding that the rights of the Palestinian people be restored without delay”, he said.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist, and chief editor of MidEastDiscourse. He has appeared on RT, PressTV, Syrian News, as well as international TV and radio programs. As a Syrian-American journalist and political commentator, he is often sought out concerning currents events facing Syria and the region.

Following is the text of the interview:

Bazaar: How do you predict the prospects for bilateral relations between Iran and Syria?

Sahiounie: The prospects for continuing bilateral relations between Iran and Syria are good.  They both share the same dedication to peaceful relations with countries in the Middle East region while holding firmly to the ideal of resistance to the occupation of Palestine, and demanding that the rights of the Palestinian people be restored without delay.

Bazaar: What are the current economic relations and volume of trade between Iran and Syria?

Sahiounie: The trade officials of both Syria and Iran have worked toward establishing industrial and economic free trade zones jointly, with an emphasis on the private sector.
Iran and Syria are slated to boost bilateral trade volume from $500 million to $1 billion within the next year.

Bazaar: What is the major part of Syrian exports?

Sahiounie: The top exports of Syria are Pure Olive Oil, Spice Seeds, Other Nuts, Apples, Pears, and Calcium Phosphates.

Syria shipped an estimated $462 million worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That amount reflects a -46% decrease since 2015 and a -36.2% drop from 2018 to 2019.

The US-NATO attack on Syria beginning in 2011 has devastated lives, the infrastructure, and the economy. The continuing sanctions by the US and EU are designed to keep the war against the Syrian people going, even though the battlefields are silent, except for Idlib, which is under the military occupation of Al Qaeda.

The data from 2010 shows that 81.1% of products exported from Syria were bought by importers in Iraq, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, Lebanon, Jordan, United States, Netherlands, Egypt, and Spain. Due to the US-EU sanctions against Syria and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf region boycotts, the markets for Syrian goods were closed due to political ideology. Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan have maintained some trade with Syria in defiance of the western bullies.

The Syrian government is working with a comprehensive plan for agricultural development and expansion of agricultural and food industries to enhance the Syrian economy in the face of the sanctions and the unfair siege on the livelihood of the Syrian people.

Bazaar: What is the most important economic project of the two countries at this present?

Sahiounie: The project to build a railroad connecting Iran’s Shalamcheh border crossing, to the Iraqi port of Basra, and finally to reach Syria’s Mediterranean port city of Latakia is the most important economic project between Syria and Iran.

The project has been on the drawing board for years and is now in the beginning stages. The mammoth railroad line will be linked to the New Silk Road, also known as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which in turn is also linked to the Russian railroad system.  Once completed, western sanctions on Syria and Iran will be thwarted.

Bazaar: What is the most important tool to protect the continuation of bilateral economic relations?

Sahiounie: The most important tool for Iran and Syria to use to protect their continuing bilateral economic relations is in supporting the two countries’ private sectors, both in trade and industry, for the benefit of investment opportunities in the free zones. The bartering system of exchanging goods and services without the use of currency is another tool that can be effective.

Bazaar: The trade between the two countries is set to reach $ 1 billion by next year. What are the plans for expanding bilateral trade? What ?is your opinion?

Sahiounie: Plans to expand bilateral trade include mechanisms to enhance commercial exchange and develop cooperation in the field of research laboratories and medical equipment and infrastructure projects, development, and investment.

The agreement is known as “long-term strategic economic cooperation”, which includes industrial, trade, and agricultural cooperation. Education, housing, public works, railroads, and investments are covered in other agreements.

An important banking agreement between Iran and Syria has been reached, which sends a message to the international community about the depth of Syrian-Iranian cooperation and will benefit Iranian companies wishing to invest in Syria and participate in reconstruction.

Syria and Iran signed several agreements worth $142.5 million, involving Iranian companies involved in the restoration of more than 2,000 MegaWatts of power production capacity, and additional projects by the dozens in the oil and agricultural sectors.

Bazaar: What is your opinion about the impact of Caesar’s law and resulting US sanctions on Iran-Syria trade?

Sahiounie: The impact of Caesar’s sanctions is psychological. To instill fear into the minds of all Syrian people, as well as all countries which would conduct business with Syria.

Layer, after layer of sanctions, has been applied to Syria, to destroy the Syrian government, and installing a US puppet to be the ultimate ‘yes-man’ to Washington.

As Syria and the entire world grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the imposition of such inhumane sanctions has increased the suffering of the Syrian people.  Instead of coming to the aid of people inside Syria with medical supplies to cope with the pandemic, the sanctions prevent medical companies abroad from doing business with merchants in Syria in the medical supplies industry, for fear of being tracked down and fined by the US Treasury Department.

Horror stories have been heard of companies in Europe who sent medicines and supplies to Syria, only to be tracked down in their own offices in Europe by US authorities enforcing the sanctions against anyone who would dare to throw a lifeline to anyone in Syria.

Bazaar: What is your assessment about Iran’s role in Syria`s reconstruction?

Sahiounie: Since 2017, Iranian companies have participated in rebuilding expos in Syria, and in 2019, the Syrian–Iranian Joint Chamber of Commerce held its first meeting. Iran is poised to play a leading role in the reconstruction of Syria.  Projects include residential buildings, power stations, agriculture, telecommunications, oil, and mining.

In 2018, Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Syria to construct 200,000 housing units near Damascus alongside other large projects. Iranian companies are participating in several major projects in Syria’s energy industry, including a gas-fired power plant project in Aleppo. Iran’s largest energy construction company, MAPNA Group, is engaged in the construction of the 540-MegaWatt combined-cycle power plant in Latakia.

Over 95 percent of the power plant equipment and much of the equipment in the Iranian electricity and water industry are domestically manufactured and can repair steam, natural gas, combined-cycle, incineration, and turbines of generators, as well as make strategic parts for power plants.

While the US-EU sanctions prevent Syria from importing much-needed replacement parts for infrastructure projects, the ability of the Iranian industrial engineers to manufacture what is needed can be a vital path around and behind the back of the western sanctions.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

With an Eye on China, India Cuts Iran Loose & Embraces the US

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook06.11.2020

India, tied as it to the US apron strings, has suffered a major strategic set-back in Iran where not only has it potentially lost exclusive development rights and control of the strategically important port of Chabahar, but has also been kicked out of Farzad-B gas field project. This has potentially meant a physical death of the ambitious 2013 ‘Tehran Declaration’, which had supposedly tied India and Iran in a strong strategic relationship. While India’s deliberate move away from Iran has taken place against the backdrop of US sanctions on Iran, imposed in the wake of Trump’s decision to force-scrap the JCPOA, these moves are fundamentally rooted in a strategic consensus with the US over Iran. It is for this reason that India has not pumped enough money even into the Chabahar port, which otherwise is exempted from US sanctions.

For India, getting close to the US was/is more important in the wake of its on-going military tensions with China than pursuing relatively low-level strategic interests in Iran. The path that the Indian policy makers chose to confront China at a broader level required sacrificing their interests in Iran. As it stands, Indian companies previously involved in Farzad-B are now engaged in a similar gas exploration project in Israel, indicating how India has largely moved to the anti-Iran camp.

India’s move away from Iran has allowed it to deepen its strategic relations with the US. Indeed, the immediate result has been the signing of “Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement” (BECA), the third so-called “foundational pact” after the “Logistics Exchange Memorandum Of Agreement” (LEMOA) and “Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement” (COMCASA) which collectively improve these countries’ military interoperability.

As an Indian news report explained, the BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones. Through the sharing of information on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting.

While one may think that India’s close ties with the US have roots in Trump’s own aggressive China policy, the US policy towards India and India’s relevance for the US against China are unlikely to change even if Trump loses and Biden wins. Let’s not forget that Biden, when he was Obama’s vice president, was one of the main architects of the so-called “Asia Pivot” policy. India was as relevant to the “Asia Pivot” as it is to Trump’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy. “Indo-pacific” strategy is very much a continuation of “Asia Pivot” in as much as it aims at confronting and containing China and Russia in Asia and beyond.

According to Indian defense experts, the agreement signed will directly help India fight China in Ladakh, and Pakistan in Kashmir. Indian experts have been reported to have said that if the deal had been signed earlier, the situation at the Northern border of India could have been different.

Indeed, Mark Esper said that defense agreements between the US and India call for military cooperation and is a check on ‘Chinese aggression’, adding that “Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increased aggression and destabilizing activities by China.”

“Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the [Chinese Communist Party] is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” said Pompeo.

Pompeo further categorically said that America would “stand by India” in the fight against China, and paid tribute to the soldiers killed in Ladakh.

With China, rather than Modi-Trump bromance, being the central pillar of US-India strategic relations, it is, therefore, unlikely that the prevalent spirit of deep direct defense ties will die out even if Trump is voted out of the White House.

As India’s former army chief General Nirmal Chander Vij explained, “Over this period we have realized that Indian interests and American interests are [going] in the same direction and for the same purpose – and for that very reason, India has gone ahead and signed the foundational military agreements.”

What is more important for India in the wake of its on-going military tensions with the US is the realization about its lack of military preparedness vis-à-vis China. With no significant arms industry at home, the Indian policy makers see in the US a natural anti-China ally, one they would not find in Russia or anywhere else, and a key source of advanced military hardware.

To maintain and even deepen this alliance and to further the scope of the so-called 2+2 dialogue, Indian policy makers were not reluctant to tell Iran that their country wouldn’t be able to maintain the spirit of the ‘Tehran Declaration.’ It is for this reason that two consecutive visits of India’s foreign and defense ministers to Iran were quickly followed by Iran’s decision to kick India out of the Farzad-B gas project, realizing that India’s strategic realities are clearly at odds with its previously widely propagated and ambitious ‘look East’ policy, an idea that imagined a greater Indian reach to Central Asia and Afghanistan via Iran.

Salman Rafi Sheikh is a research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

So we’re racist because Biden didn’t get a landslide victory? That just shows how much the elite and the media hate Americans

By Tony Cox | RT | November 6, 2020

MSNBC host Joy Reid wants Americans to be ashamed for failing to deliver on the media’s false promises that Joe Biden would win the election easily, giving President Donald Trump the beating she thinks he deserves.

After five years of watching Trump’s alleged sins play out in the mainstream media, “it felt like a repudiation was coming,” MSNBC host Joy Reid said late Wednesday. When that failed to happen on election night, with swing-state races too close to call and the outcome heading for a legal battle, Trump’s strong showing only confirmed to her that America has “a great amount of racism, anti-blackness, anti-wokeness.”

“We know what this country is, but still part of you, I think part of your heart says, you know what, maybe the country’s going to pay off all of this pain, the children that were stolen, with a repudiation,” Reid said. “And as the night wore on and I realized and it sunk in, OK, that’s not happening, we are still who we thought, unfortunately.”

Van Jones, the CNN host and commentator, said essentially the same thing on election night, saying the results didn’t provide the “moral victory” that Democrats wanted after seeing children being taken away from their mothers at the border and black children being called “the n-word” at school under Trump’s leadership. “They want a moral victory tonight,” he said. “We wanted to see a repudiation of this direction for the country. And the fact that it’s this close, I think, it hurts, it just hurts.”

Reid and Jones are both black, and in their view, anything short of a dominating one-party rule by their preferred party can only mean that America is too racist to vote correctly. It can’t be that the pollsters and the mainstream media were incompetent and/or dishonest when they vastly underestimated voter support for Trump, just as they did in 2016.

Their words are condemning, especially in the case of Reid’s: “we are still who we thought, unfortunately.” We, as in America, are still as racist and reprehensible as we thought because we don’t vote Democrat in sufficient proportion. We don’t hate Trump sufficiently for sticking his thumb in the eye of the ruling class and obnoxiously leading the nation as a populist. This is the same Bad Orange Man who won’t start fake wars, won’t kiss the ring of the CIA-Pentagon intelligence-military complex, won’t play by the rules of corrupt establishment politicians, won’t cower when the press calls him a racist and won’t support globalist trade and environmental deals.

Reid and Jones didn’t get the landslide they were looking for because voters were too busy again repudiating the ruling class and its media mouthpieces to repudiate Trump. They were too busy rejecting the people who brought us NAFTA, spied on us, transferred our manufacturing jobs to China, depressed our wages with illegal immigration, and squandered our blood and treasure in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.

And they especially repudiated the liars who roll out the dreaded R words – ‘racism’ or ‘Russia’ – whenever someone needs to be silenced.

Contrary to leftist doctrine, most support for Trump isn’t about cultish followers who can’t be brought out of their trance long enough to come to grips with reality. A large portion of Trump supporters understand that he is a deeply flawed individual. He’s not righteous, his personality can be maddening, and he’s too easily baited into nonsensical arguments that distract from his agenda. But unlike the Joy Reids of the world – and their directors – he apparently loves America and its people.

It’s not only white people who notice the difference. CNN exit polls showed that support for Trump among Hispanic voters increased by 15-19 percentage points from 2016’s level in Florida, Georgia and Ohio. And Biden won just 80 percent of the black male vote, down from Hillary Clinton’s 82 percent in 2016 and Barack Obama’s 87-95 percent in 2008 and 2012. Trump also won 35 percent of the Muslim vote, compared with 15 percent support in that segment in 2016.

Those voters obviously didn’t believe the media mantra that Trump is a raging white supremacist. Or did they? The race hustlers have explanations for that, too, as it turns out. MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude argued that black and Hispanic men are guilty of “sexism and patriarchy,” just like white men.

Young Turks commentator Aida Rodriguez took the psychoanalysis to another level. “Many people showed up to support Trump because let’s keep it real, a lot of people of color hate themselves,” she said. “They want to identify with upward mobility, and to them, that means white is right.”

But Glaude quickly brought the indictment discussion back to the real culprits: White people. “This is a story about how whiteness still animates the core of this country, along with selfishness, because we know who this man is. This race shouldn’t be this tight,” he said.

Reid made similar comments on election night, saying the results raised “real questions about what America is at the end of the day and whether what Trump is, is more like the American character than people ever, ever wanted to admit.”

These attacks on the character of voters were more of the same from ruling-class ‘elites’ who show only contempt for Americans and Americanism. Americans voted for Barack Obama, twice, and yet they’re reminded daily of how racist they are – ironically, by bigots and liars.

Reid was outed in April 2018 for anti-gay, anti-Muslim posts that she had made years earlier on her blog. She responded by alleging that someone had hacked her former blog and planted the offensive material years ago without her noticing. Her lawyer said the FBI was investigating, and MSNBC stood by her. Months later, she apologized for the posts without mentioning the hacking allegations or the FBI probe.

So these are our moral superiors, we’re told. It doesn’t matter how many times they’re wrong, how many times they’re false or how many times they appear to behave like enemies of the American people. Any failure to agree with their politics can only be explained by the rest of us being morally disgusting, or as Hillary Clinton would say, “deplorable.”

Is it any wonder that the feeling is mutual?

Tony Cox is a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers.

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

The U.S. Inability To Count Votes is a National Disgrace. And Dangerous.

By Glenn Greenwald | November 4, 2020

The richest and most powerful country on earth — whether due to ineptitude, choice or some combination of both — has no ability to perform the simple task of counting votes in a minimally efficient or confidence-inspiring manner. As a result, the credibility of the voting process is severely impaired, and any residual authority the U.S. claims to “spread” democracy to lucky recipients of its benevolence around the world is close to obliterated.

At 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the day after the 2020 presidential elections, the results of the presidential race, as well as control of the Senate, are very much in doubt and in chaos. Watched by rest of the world — deeply affected by who rules the still-imperialist superpower — the U.S. struggles and stumbles and staggers to engage in a simple task mastered by countless other less powerful and poorer countries: counting votes. Some states are not expected to finished their vote-counting until the end of this week or beyond.

The same data and polling geniuses who pronounced that Hillary Clinton had a 90% probability or more of winning the 2016 election, and who spent the last three months proclaiming the 2020 election even more of a sure thing for the Democratic presidential candidate, are currently insisting that Biden, despite being behind in numerous key states, is still the favorite by virtue of uncounted ballots in Democrat-heavy counties in the outcome-determinative states. [One went to sleep last night with the now-notorious New York Times needle of data guru Nate Cohn assuring the country that, with more than 80% of the vote counted in Georgia, Trump had more than an 80% chance to win that state, only to wake up a few hours later with the needle now predicting the opposite outcome; that all happened just a few hours after Cohn assured everyone how much “smarter” his little needle was this time around].

Given the record of failures and humiliations they have quickly compiled, what rational person would trust anything they say at this point? A citizen randomly chosen from the telephone book would be as reliable if not more so for sharing predictions. And the monumental failures of the polling industry and the data nerds who leech off it, for the second consecutive national election, only serve to sow even further doubt and confusion around the electoral process.

A completely untrustworthy voting count is now the norm. Two months after the New York state primary in late June, two Congressional races were in doubt by what The New York Times called “major delays in counting a deluge of 400,000 mail-in ballots and other problems.” In particular:

Thousands more ballots in the city were discarded by election officials for minor errors, or not even sent to voters until the day before the primary, making it all but impossible for the ballots to be returned in time.

It took a full six weeks for New York to finally declare a winner in those two primary races for Congress.

The coronavirus pandemic and the shutdowns and new votings rules it ushered in have obviously complicated the process, but the U.S. failure to simply count votes with any degree of efficiency, in a way that inspires even minimal confidence in the process, pre-dates the March, 2020 nationwide lockdowns. Even if one dismisses as aberrational the protracted, Court-decided, and still-untrusted outcome of the 2000 presidential election — only four national election cycles ago — the U.S. voting process is rife with major systemic failures and doubt-sowing inefficiencies that can be explained only as a deliberate choice and/or a perfect reflection of a collapsing, crumbling empire.

Recall the mass confusion that ensued back in January, in the very first Democratic Party primary election in the Iowa caucus, where a new app created and monetized by a bunch of sleazy Democratic operatives caused massive delays, confusion and an untrustworthy outcome. Later in the process, many Super Tuesday states — including California — were still counting votes weeks or even longer after the election was held (more than a week after the Democratic primary, California had still only counted roughly 75% of the ballots cast, depriving Bernie Sanders of a critical narrative victory on election night).

The 2018 midterm elections were also marred by pervasive irregularities. The Washington Post noted “thousands of reports of voting irregularities across the country… with voters complaining of broken machines, long lines and untrained poll workers improperly challenging Americans’ right to vote.”

And the full extent of the “irregularities” and treacherous outright cheating by the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 primary race between Clinton and Sanders was never fully appreciated given how pro-Clinton the press was. As just one example, “200,000 New York City voters” — many in pro-Sanders precincts — “had been illegally wiped off the rolls and prevented from voting in the presidential primary” (for one of the best-documented histories of just how pervasive were the shenanigans and cheating in the 2016 Democratic primary across multiple key states, listen to this TrueAnon episode).

However one wants to speculate about the motives for all of this, one thing is clear: it does not need to be this way. To eliminate all doubts about that fact, just look at Brazil.

After the pervasive voting problems in the 2018 midterms, I wrote an article with my Brazilian colleague Victor Pougy describing the extraordinary speed and efficiency with which Brazil — a country not exactly renowned for its speed and efficiency — counts its votes.

Brazil is not a small country. It is the fifth most-populous nation on the planet. Although its population is somewhat smaller than the U.S.’s (330 million to 210 million), its mandatory voting law, automatic registration, and 16-year-old voting age means the number of ballots to be counted is quite similar (105 million votes in Brazil’s 2018 presidential election compared to 130 million votes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election). And on the same date of its national elections, it, too, holds gubernatorial and Congressional elections in its twenty-seven states.

And yet Brazil — a much poorer and less technologically advanced country than the U.S., with a much shorter history of democracy — holds seamless, quick vote counts about which very few people harbor doubts. The elections are held on a Sunday, to ensure as many people as possible do not have work obligations to prevent voting, and polls close at 6:00 p.m.

For the 2018 presidential run-off election that led to Jair Bolsonaro’s victory, 90% of all votes were counted and the results released by 6:00 p.m. on the day of the election: the time the last state closed its polls. The full vote tally was available within a couple of hours after that. The same was true of the first-round voting held three weeks earlier — which also included races for governor, Senator and Congress in all the states: full vote totals were released by computer shortly after the polls closed and few had any doubts about their accuracy and legitimacy.

Hundreds of millions of Americans went to bed on Tuesday’s election night seeing Trump in the lead in key states, with the data experts of major outlets indicating that his victory in many of those states was highly likely. They woke up to the opposite indication: that Biden is now a slight favorite to win several if not all of those remaining key states. But what is clear is that it will be days if not longer before the votes are fully counted, with judicial proceedings almost certain to prolong the outcomes even further.

No matter what the final result, there will be substantial doubts about its legitimacy by one side or the other, perhaps both. And no deranged conspiracy thinking is required for that. An electoral system suffused with this much chaos, error, protracted outcomes and seemingly inexplicable reversals will sow doubt and distrust even among the most rational citizens.

The next time Americans hear from their government that they need to impose democracy in other countries — through wars, invasion, bombing campaigns or other forms of clandestine CIA “interference” — they should insist that democracy first be imposed in the United States. An already frazzled, intensely polarized and increasingly hostile populace now has to confront yet another election in the richest and most technologically advanced country on earth where the votes cannot be counted in a way that inspires even minimal degrees of confidence.

My analysis of the election itself, and the ongoing, systemic failures of the Democratic Party — no matter the outcome — will be posted later today. [$$]

November 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | | 12 Comments